Friday, December 23, 2011

4 months and Christmas

So it's a little bit late but Parker turned 4 months on the 23rd.  I cant believe it.  I swear it was yesterday when I was writing his 3 month post, but here we are with a few updates:

He has officially rolled over both ways, and does it all the time.  Will someone enlighten me on why we want them mobile?  Because for as cute as it is to see him roll over, I curse the name of whoever decided baby mobility was a good idea every time I am trying to change his diaper and he rolls over to grab the sleepy turtle.  He has gotten up on hands and knees twice now and then gotten scared and rolled back over.  He has started rice cereal and loves it.  At his 4 month appointment this morning, the doctor said that we should start to thicken it up and then if he continues to do well and we are so inclined we can start him on stage 1 Gerber veggies.  I can't wait.  I think I am going to try out making my own baby food and see how I like it.

The doctor said he and his wife did the same thing - for about a week.  Then they realized how much cheaper and easier it is to just buy the Gerber jars.  I have a feeling that will be me too, but nonetheless I will try.  Parker has mastered the reach and grab with toys and has recently started to reach for those cute chubby things at the ends of his legs.  He hasn't quite grabbed one yet, but he likes to look at his feet and reach for them.

Christmas Eve
Christmas was great, we had so much fun the last three days.  Our Christmas Eve hors d'ourve buffet (meatballs, jalapeno popper dip, pizza mushrooms and garlic and herb goat cheese) was a huge success.  We played spoons and Egyptian Rat Slap with everyone and got to watch Gloria trying to bite the spoon out of Christa's hand and Christa leaping over the table to swipe one.  It was hilarious.  We had a great time at my parents yesterday filled with snark, sarcasm and lots of laughs as always.  The kids made out with awesome presents.

Christmas Morning

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Love-Hate Relationships and Monday Mornings

Love:  sweet baby gummy smiles
Hate:  sweet baby gummy mouth trying to bite off the food-knobs

Love: watching our dogs play together in the backyard
Hate: looking out into the backyard to find the dogs playing together with all the dirty diapers from the trash bag I quickly set down to tend to the baby for 5 minutes before taking it outside

Love: sweet baby hands grasping for toys and holding my fingers
Hate: sharp baby claws on sweet baby hands stabbing the heck out of me

Love: the fact that I got to go shopping by myself for an hour and half this weekend
Hate: the holiday crowds I had to fight through to do it

Love: Watching Elf
Hate: that the song "I'm here...with my dad...and we've never met...and he wants me to sing him a I'm here now...and I'm singing...and I love you...I love you....I LOVE YOU" always gets stuck in my head for at least a week

Love: getting a paycheck
Hate: coming to work on Monday mornings

Nana's 80th Birthday Party

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yay for Friday's

yesterday was freaking MOLASSES!

I have been so exhausted the last week or two.  Parker has decided he no longer wants to sleep through the night and has been waking up about every three hours STARVING.  Then he will eat a full meal and fall back to sleep for a few hours.  When he doesn't wake up hungry like a hippo, he wakes up from the discomfort in his poor, drooly teething mouth.  Having been spoiled the last few months with full nights of sleep, it is throwing me for a big loop.  When I get him out of bed (or rather when my wonderful husband goes and gets him out of bed) and nurse him in the middle of the night, I prop myself up with a few pillows and use the Boppy (greatest invention known to man) and fall asleep.  But its not good sleep, because I am propped up with my head thrown back and holding a baby who is nursing like he'd like to take the food-knobs with him.  But because I am asleep - if you really can call it that - I don't put him back in his crib right away, so I end up laying in that position for a good two hours at least twice a night, which kills my back.  When you add this lack of sleep to all the holiday and birthday stuff we have been doing - it makes for an exhausted mommy.

Last night it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Gloria came over to have us help her with her new phone - yes, she has joined the ranks of the iSlave with her new iPhone.  I could hardly focus and ended up laying down in our room around 6pm and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the night.  Needless to say, my house is a freaking disaster zone and the OCD part of me has a small anxiety attack every few minutes.  Mike is usually pretty good about picking up the slack and getting the house cleaned while I am at work, but with Parker's general fussiness and getting over his own sickness, he just hasn't had the energy either.

Thank goodness we don't have the girls this weekend so we can just rest a little (although Saturday is going to be a pretty busy day with Mike doing pools and Nana's 80th bday party, but my parents are coming to visit Saturday morning and they can help with Parker and we will have Sunday at least).

On a brighter note...the other day, for the first time in years, I actually wanted to listen to Christmas music.  And to top it off there are a ton of Christmas crafts that I am excited to do...hand ornaments (thanks Patty at Make It Cozee for the great tutorial)...Baby feet Christmas trees...Baby feet reindeer...cardboard Christmas trees...Christmas card holders...oh my.  I don't know if its having a baby in the house (who absolutely LOVES the Christmas tree) or the fact that its not 85 degrees in December for once but it seems I have found my holiday spirit - I feel like the Grinch at the end of the movie when his heart gets all big. I've already watched Elf twice (best Christmas movie ever) and I might even let Mike watch Ernest Saves Christmas without bitching the whole time...(might being the operative word)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Late Monday (err...Tuesday) mornings....

Yesterday I just did not get to this - Hulu Plus on the xbox and a 'Once Upon a Time' marathon (our new favorite show, its really awesome, btw) with my hubby kept me otherwise engaged - so I am going to back track a bit.

Yesterday was December 12th and this day has been a really special day for me over the past few years.  December 12, 2008, Mike and I met on a plane to Nashville, TN and have been together ever since.  December 12, 2010, we found out about Parker and our lives changed forever.  December 12, 2011, Parker rolled over - I know this really isn't high on my 'life events' list but nonetheless its a first for Parker so I thought I'd include it.  Mike was able to get it on video for me, and he did it again when I got home from work.  He is just getting so big - 16 weeks today - and I cannot believe its been that long. It is such a double-edged sword: on one hand I will miss the tiny baby that just lays in my arms and smiles but on the other hand I am so excited for all the things that Mike and I get to share and teach him.  He figured out the mechanics of grasping toys a few weeks ago and now he's rolling over...before I know it he will be walking.

Today I am teaching 'Great Works of Art' in Hailey's class - her teacher convinced me to volunteer for it when I was on maternity leave and this will be the first time I do it since I have gone back to work.  It's pretty easy, I just read a script about famous artists and show them a few famous pieces and then they get to try to do their own.  It's definitely a bird's eye view of great works of art, but I am happy that the public schools make an effort to introduce the kids to the arts.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Aftermath

Last night was such a success.  Somehow I managed to get everything the important stuff done - with the help of my amazing husband and mother-in-law of course, I couldn't have pulled it off without them.  Maybe someday I will actually be able to keep a secret from Mike and pull off a surprise party...there's always his 40th.  Mike's closest friends and family came and we had a really fun night.  Mike got a few really awesome gifts including a kindle and from his dad he finally got the coon-skin hat and cap gun that apparently he was promised 25 years ago.  It was really sweet.  Poor Mike is still sick, though he managed through last night with the help of dayquil every 3 hours - and because he was helping me get everything ready at the house he still has pools to do today.  Our house is a little bit of a disaster - the inevitable aftermath of house guests - but it was worth it.  I realize now that we absolutely suck at taking pictures, I think there are a few somewhere, if I ever find them I will put them up.

Friday, December 9, 2011

How is it Friday already?

I seriously cannot believe that it is Friday already. I stayed home from work yesterday to take care of sick baby and sick husband. I don't think I have ever felt more helpless than when Parker is crying bloody murder for no apparent reason and nothing seems to calm him down other than to hold him with a big warm blanket and a really tight hug all day long. He finally fell asleep for a few hours around 1 in the afternoon and so I spent that time getting the house ready for the party Saturday night.


The type-A angel on my left shoulder has been furiously arguing with the lazy-ass angel on my right about getting the house put together and decorated just right for Mike's 30th shindig but I just have to continue to remind myself that it is our friends and family coming over and if my house is not immaculate, they are all kind enough to judge me silently. And in any case, I am sure that Gloria will come in and quickly rearrange all of the decorations to make things look right anyway as she always does.

Mike still feels like crap but this weekend is going to be so busy he really isn't going to have a chance to get better any time soon - read: OMG he is going to whine for the next 5 days! I love him, but boy can he whine when he's sick. And that may sound like a complaint (and it kind of is) but in secret reality, I love it when he's sick because he just wants to cuddle!! Hopefully he feels better by tomorrow.

I still have a bunch of stuff to do: I need to go to the store to get the ingredients for my home made salsa, I have to then make the salsa, we need plates and cups because I am going to be the opposite of eco-friendly in the attempt to eliminate loads of dishes, I need to go get the stuff for drinks...I need a day in between Friday and Saturday, that's what I really need.

If having a baby has taught me anything so's how to let the small stuff go - read: ignore the Chocolate tumbleweeds drifting across our living room floor even though people are coming over...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Mornings Seem to Come Too Fast

Another Monday morning has graced us with it's presence. Another week has completely flown by with little more than a 'hey, how ya doin'? Gotta go.' Another year has almost done the same. It's December 5th and I look at the calendar for the rest of the month and realize that with how busy we are, it will be January before I realize it. Tonight we are going to get our tree. Wednesday is my holiday party for work. Friday we are going ice skating at the Mission Inn with Dennis and Gloria and Christa, Todd and the boys. Saturday morning we are decorating the tree (I spent the weekend decorating the rest of the house), Saturday afternoon Gloria is taking Hailey to some tree thing that she has told me about at least three times but I can't seem to remember to save my life, and Saturday night is Mike's 30th birthday party. Then next Wednesday is his actual birthday, so we will have our traditional birthday breakfast in the morning and probably have Dennis and Gloria over for dinner. It's also Belle's (my sister) 16th birthday on Wednesday. Then Friday is Dennis's birthday, and Saturday is Nana's birthday party. Then the next week calms down a little bit except for last minute Christmas shopping and then its already Christmas Eve. We will do Christmas eve and probably most of Christmas day at our house. We won't get Hailey until the afternoon. Then the day after Christmas we will go to Palmdale to celebrate with my parents. The next day is Parker's 4-month check up. And then we have a few days until 2012. Geez it's going to be a busy month.

I just have to remember to stop and smell the roses.

On another note, I got the horrible pictures printed as 4x6's and they aren't so bad of you don't look too close.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


  • 24: the number of hours in a day, far too few in my personal opinion
  • 24: the name of a really awesome show that I can't watch too many episodes of or else I start to crawl out of my skin from all the suspense - ask Mike, he thinks it's hilarious
  • 24: a decent sized pack of beer
  • 24: the number of dollars Mike and I spend when we go nuts at a drive-thru and order way more food than we can should eat
  • 24: the number of pictures we got on our view and share disc from Picture People last night that I am thoroughly pissed off about - I'll come back to this one
  • 24: the number of years I have been alive starting today...
Yep, that was my long-winded way of saying that, yes, today is my birthday. As you can see, 24 is a pretty boring number, but it's another tally on the chalk board none the less. This morning Mike and the girls made me a wonderful birthday breakfast - orange cinnamon rolls, my favorite, it was awesome! The girls got me three really awesome pictures frames for my desk at work. 
Mike and I are giving each other an Xbox 360 for our birthdays (he wants one to play grown-up first-person shooter games, and I want one because its a blu-ray player and it streams Netflix for our bedroom - so excited ). Mike smoked a tri-tip and it was delicious as usual; he really is a great cook! And Dennis and Gloria came over for dinner and pie (the custard was AMAZING) and we had a great time and some great conversations.

So circling back to being pissed off about Picture People...I am really pissed off at Picture People! We went last night to get family pictures taken because I had a LivingSocial deal for several pages of prints that I got for $10 and last night was the last day that Shutterfly was having some ridiculous sales (we are getting our Christmas cards and a few Christmas presents through them). Since last night was a school night timing was really tight because - par the course - we weren't completely prepared for the pictures yet. We all had our sweaters and we got the girls dresses from H&M - which we got an awesome deal on because they were having a "buy one get one" knit wear sale when we bought them - but we were still sans belts to complete the ensemble. So I leave early from work, Mike picks up the girls, we go home, they do homework, I feed Parker, we all get dressed and head to the mall so we can get belts before the picture appointment. Of course Justice - which I usually try to stay away from because I think that the clothes they sell are usually ugly or inappropriate for 7 and 9 year olds, but in a bind I have no problem being a hypocrite - only has one belt in the right size. I buy one XS and S and just use a bobby pin from Hailey's hair to pin the belt at the right length so it doesn't slip off her hips. We check in at Picture People and they get us in a room for pictures almost immediately. The girl taking our pictures does a great job making Parker laugh and we actually get some pretty good family pictures (if you can get Mike and I to overlook our overall chunky-ness, yes, we admit it, we're pretty vain when it comes to those kinds of things) and the pictures of the kids together and individually come out great.

Then things start to go downhill.

First the girl tells us it will be about ten minutes before we can go through the pictures...more than 30 minutes later we are still waiting. The girls are bored, Parker is starting to fuss and my patience is rapidly approaching the bright red "Severe-risk-of-terrorist-attacks" level. They finally come out and we go through the pictures, we are really happy with most of them and we start to talk about what we want printed. I tell her that I have my fancy-shmancy LivingSocial deal, and she tells me that the deal is for one pose only for all prints. This gets marked as number two on the list of not-so-good Picture People incidents for the night. We move forward and pick a really awesome Christmas pose for our numerous prints and we picked a few others to print since we have the membership and get a free one when we go. We also add on the disc of images. I am on the fence about whether or not to get the high-res disc because we got it last time for Parker's first pictures and I was irritated that I paid $100 for 18 images, so I end up getting the view-and-share disc because I doubt that the quality will be that much worse...WRONG!! And here's number three: we get home and I get ready to go through the images to upload (remember, this is the last day for ridiculously awesome Shutterfly deals and I have been waiting to finish Christmas projects because I wanted to include these pictures but I have to finish everything tonight otherwise I won't save a bunch of money, and when you're on a budget that's a big motivator). Come to find out the images are such bad resolution that I can hardly use them for anything on top of the fact that there is the Picture People logo super-imposed on every single picture - SO LAME. If you try to zoom in at all they are completely pixelated and pretty much useless - what a waste of $35. So now I get to go back to Picture People this weekend while they still have my images on file and get a few more prints of my favorites and I am less than happy about it. Live and learn I suppose...

here's a few of the best and a link to see them all if you're interested:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Mornings...

This weeks version of a Monday morning...

Let's start at the beginning...this morning I snoozed my alarm too many times so I was running late to start. I didn't iron my clothes last night because I forgot to ask Mike to do it. As soon as I step out of my car in the parking lot the heel on my shoe breaks off and as I am putting my stuff for lunch in the fridge, I realize I forgot the chicken for my chicken cobb wraps...yep one of those days. I was back at work after an amazing 5 day reprieve (I was out yesterday taking care of sicklings aplenty) and things were exactly thesame as when I left. Fires everywhere, people twirlingabout for ridiculous reasons, drama lurking in every corner…and you might wonder why I am already counting down thedays until the next holiday – MILESTONES BABY!!

Speaking of milestones - Thanksgiving was nice, we had a good time with family watchingfootball and eating. Parker was really cute in hisoutfit.

We had to leave early to put Parker down, so we missed playing a game.  There were some turkey mishaps, dog disagreements and football vs. boardgame debates, but what is Thanksgiving without a little drama, right? Then...everyone got sick. Mike and Hailey got it the worst, then me andthen Parker got a little something yesterday. Needless to say, I am exhausted. Ona good note though, yesterday while I was home, Mike and I had a few really good conversations about some parenting, relationship and career/life things that have been on our minds for a few weeks now. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate myhusband. He lets me be completelyhonest, even with the things that you never want to say out loud – and moreoften than not he knows what I’m thinking even before I am able toarticulate it to myself. I don’t alwaysremember that he is this awesome, but he usually finds a way to remind me. I guess I'll keep him around a little longer...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

3 Months

It's official: today Parker is 3 months old.  I no longer have a newborn, he is officially an infant - not that anyone thought he was a newborn anymore since he is freaking huge.

So here are a few 3 month updates:

November 22, 2011
The last time we weighed him (around veterans day so about two weeks ago) he was 15.6lbs, so I would say he's an easy 16lbs at this point.  Monster of a baby.  He is about 25in long and is comfortably filling out his 6mo clothing.  His little personality is starting to bud: he smiles and giggles A TON, he tries to roll but hasn't quite figured out what to do with his other arm yet, he reaches out for things (still very uncoordinated with it, but you can watch him thinking about how to move his arms to reach what he wants), he has starting cooing all the time and when Mike and I are talking he will chatter away and change tones like he's part of the conversation.  He has started to take more of an interest in the dogs and watches them often.  Overall, he is a great baby.

November 23, 2011 - 3 Months Old

After three months, I have lost most of my baby weight - 5 lbs left to be more precise, and it just seems to stick to me like glue, although being honest I have been really bad about exercising since I went back to work.  I have been eating really well though, and I am still slowly losing weight, just not as quick as I'd like.  I know people say to give it 9 months before you start to be hard on yourself, but I just don't work that way.  Before we found out I was pregnant, I was probably about 15-20lbs heavier than when I met Mike, so my goal is to lose about 20-25lbs from where I am now by next summer.  Right about the time Mike and I want to start trying for another one...hmmm, maybe I should rethink that plan.  The scene of the crime is mostly back to normal, thank goodness, I worried it would never be the same.  Work is still...well...its work and I would much rather be home with my baby than dealing with other peoples self-created fires.  But what are you going to husband just doesn't love me enough to win the lotto.

Me and Mike:
Babies definitely change a lot in a relationship.  I feel much closer to Mike in one sense because we have this amazing thing in our lives that we made because we love each other, and that is really freaking awesome.  On the other hand, I see how easy it is to grow apart once you have a baby.  So much of my/our time is devoted to Parker that we really have to make an effort to carve out time for ourselves, and then we have the girls on top of that.  We try though, we could probably be better, but we try and that's a start.

He is still doing pools on Saturdays.  He seems to enjoy being Mr. Stay-at-home-Dad and does a great job keeping things together so that I have more time to spend with Parker in the evenings.  He has decided to go back to school to work towards an ecology/environmental science type degree in pursuit of becoming a park ranger or something along those lines.  He has shown a lot of initiative and excitement with this so I am hopeful that he will continue to be ambitious in this endeavor.

Hailey and Tristan:
Hailey and Tristan are good.  As I said a few posts ago, Tristan has asked to be with her mom more, and we are starting to get used to her being gone more.  Hailey wants to start soccer, so we signed her up last weekend and the spring co-ed season will start in March and I plan to coach - yikes, haven't been involved with soccer in a long while, but I am really excited to get back into it and have something to help me bond more with Hailey.   They are both doing well in school and have completely adjusted to life in the public school system.

So yep, that's us.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How far we've come...

Tomorrow Parker will be 3 months…on one hand I can hardly believe its already been three months and on the other I can’t believe its only been three months.  As I sit here – in the middle of yet another day of work fires – I realize I never wrote down Parker’s birth story.  So here it is…mostly for the sake of helping me to remember my experience.

Let’s start the week before:
Picture me – huge round belly and tree trunk legs because I am so swollen, only ever in dresses because nothing else fits – waddling from our house to my in-laws (about a half mile) EVERY SINGLE NIGHT in an attempt to self-induce labor, despite the caveat from my midwife that walking DOES NOT bring on labor, but it will definitely bring on contractions.  And every single night after this walk, I would have loads of contractions and Mike and I would time them and get all excited because as each day passed the contractions started to get closer together.  And every single night I thought to myself “this is it, this has got to be it!” 

Friday morning, we have an appointment at Kaiser to check how I am progressing.  At this appointment I am 2cm dilated and convinced that every little cramp is the beginning of labor.  My midwife informs me otherwise and schedules a non-stress test for me since I am almost at a full week late.  She says that at this appointment they will schedule an induction, if I even make it that far.

Sunday night, we once again take a walk to Dennis and Gloria’s because I am beyond desperate to get this baby out.  We have dinner and chat – and by chat I mean I complain for most of the night about how ready I am to have this freaking baby already.  The next morning, we have our Non-Stress Test appointment which I am excited for because it means there is an end in sight.  I have done my research as to the possible outcomes of this appointment (1: everything is good and they schedule the induction for some time in the next few days or 2: something is wrong and they immediately induce).  As I have had a very easy pregnancy so far, I assume that option number 1 will be the case and don’t bother making sure my bags are fully packed because I don’t think we will really need them in the morning.

Monday morning, we have to drop the girls off at Bethany’s and we are running late as always and completely forget the bag and breakfast and barely make it on time.  We check in and get settled for the test which is basically just an ultrasound.  The tech comes in and begins the ultrasound and is making all kinds of alarming noises.  This is the first point throughout this process that I have actually been really scared for my baby.  I ask her – choking back tears – what is wrong and she nonchalantly tells me that I don’t pass.  “What does that mean?”  I ask.  She responds simply with “well, it means you don’t pass this portion of the test.” No shit Sherlock, but what does not passing mean?   I ask again, “what does that mean?  For the baby? For me?”  “Well, it means that you can’t leave.  Do you have your stuff?  I am going to go call and see if I can get a bed for you now, we are going to induce you because your fluid is low.”  “What does that mean?”  “Well, there is not enough amniotic fluid and so we need to induce you to ensure the safety of your baby.” Ensure the safety of my baby? Now I am completely scared and definitely fighting tears.  She tells me that it is okay, the fluid level is not so low that the baby is in any harm, but that it is low enough that they don't want to let it go any longer.  I look to Michael, somewhat relieved by this statement and realize we don’t have my bag and I am starving because we didn’t eat breakfast, but we decide to wait until we get into a room to get food and for him to go get the bag since I can’t leave.

We call everyone and let them know what is going on and about an hour later we are in our room (which is more like a small hotel room than what I had expected, complete with couch, rocking chair, tv, etc).  The nurses come in and are introducing themselves and I ask where I can easily get food.  The woman gives me a sad look, “you can’t eat! You’ve been admitted, all you can have is jello and ice chips at this point”  my stomach gurgles.  So as they are getting me set up for the Pitocin, Michael takes off to go and get our overnight stuff.  They check me, give me an IV and start the meds just as Mike is getting back. 

The contractions are getting very close together now – that Pitocin works real quick.  The anesthesiologist comes in to talk about my option(s), though for me there is only one: drugs.  I decide that I can wait a while until the pain is really bad.  After about an hour on the Pitocin, I get a contraction that makes me burst into tears it hurts so bad and all of a sudden like 10 people are in my room and they are doing a bunch of stuff that I can’t see or understand.  A really nice doctor walks right up to me and holds my hand as he tells me it’s going to be okay, the baby's heart rate has dropped because I had so many contractions back to back and that it’s like the baby is holding his breath.  I am so scared at this point for Parker.  They tell me that they are going to take me off of the Pitocin for a while to give me and the baby a little break, but that they will be back in an hour to start it up again.

In the meanwhile, Mike and I play cards and read and I indulge in television (since we don’t have cable).

4 hours later…they finally come back.  The anesthesiologist comes and gives me an epidural – which is not nearly as intimidating as everyone makes it out to be.  Yes the needle is big, but it’s not that bad.  They give it half an hour for that to really kick in and then start up the Pitocin again.  At this point I am 4 cm dilated.  It is at this point that I also realize that I am SO HUNGRY. I ask the nurse if I can get some jello but she tells me that because I just had my epidural I can only have ice chips from this point forward *insert sound of heart breaking here*.  I get some ice chips and munch them as the pain steadily increases despite the recent injection of highly numbing pain meds – my utmost respect to those women out there who deliver drug free.  Mike has a 15 minute timer set so that we can hit the “more drugs” button as soon as possible.  About an hour after they reinstate the Pitocin, the nurse checks and I am 6cm dilated and tells me to call her if I need her.  It’s about 8:30pm at this point (not completely sure because the clock was broken in my room).  I have to have the anesthesiologist come in several more times to give me a little something extra in my IV because I am in so much pain.  I am just laying there in the bed balling as a squeeze Mike’s hand.  Within 30 minutes I have this sudden urge to push and I tell Mike to get the midwife.  She comes and checks me, but I am still only about 6.5cm dilated.  She leaves and says she will check on me again in 30 minutes.  10 minutes later, I tell Mike he has to get her again because I NEED TO PUSH.  I start pushing because it’s the only thing that alleviates the pain in any way.  The midwife comes back and checks me again, I am 9.5cm dilated and she says that its go time.  She starts to direct me in how to push.   

And the pushing begins.

Roll this way, push push push.  Roll that way, push push push.  Roll again, push push push.  The problem is that the baby is facing the wrong way (at this point I can’t remember if it was up or down, but in any case it was the wrong way).  I am in so much pain and so tired because it’s been forever since I ate something other than ice chips – which Mike is feeding me every few minutes.  Two hours pass and I am exhausted.  I ask the midwife how much longer they are going to make me push before they move to plan B.  She says at this point I just have to keep pushing.  It has now been two hours and just under forty-five minutes and in sobs, I ask her again “how long are you going to make me keep pushing?  I can’t do this anymore.”  By “this” I mean the roll, push, roll push routine.  In the middle of all of this, Mike has become her second set of hands.  He is simultaneously letting me squeeze the crap out of his hand, holding my legs up as I push, helping me rotate every few pushes, feeding me ice chips and telling me it’s okay and will be over soon.  Just as they are going to get the doctor to prep me for a c-section, another midwife walks in and determinedly tells me we are going to do this here and now.  She pops up these hand grips from the bed and has me pushing as hard as I possibly can.  Within minutes the baby’s head is visible and I keep pushing.  After probably ten minutes of solid, no screaming allowed, non-stop pushing, I feel the ring of fire and the baby’s head is out.  Deep breath, bigger push, the baby is out and on my chest and I am instantly in love.  I take a deep breath and am in awe of the little crying blood and goop covered ball on my chest.  They take him, cut the cord and start to clean him up as they have me continue to push out the placenta.  Once that is out my words were something along the lines of “oh dear God, I feel so much better, the pressure is finally gone.”  Then my next question is “is it still Monday?”  (We were hoping that he would be born on Monday so that there was a little bit more time in between his and Hailey’s birthdays, but he had a different plan)  The midwife tells me that I have torn and that she is going to stitch me up after she gives me a little extra pain medication since it seems my epidural has worn off.  She finishes up after about an hour and I get to hold Parker for the first time.  Pure happiness and elation.  I tell Mike that this is probably the proudest moment of my life and that I can’t believe I actually did it because towards the end, I really didn’t believe I could. 

The three things I remember most but can’t really describe are the ring of fire – which must have been when I tore, the feeling of Parker on my chest and watching Parker getting cleaned off as they stitched me up.  He was born at 12:19am on Tuesday August 23rd, weighing 7lbs 10 ozs and measuring 19.5in in length.  Perfection.

And now, three months later I think about how far we have come from that point.  How far we have come from gently passing him back and forth like a china doll.  How far we have come from sleeping on the big chair in the living room for three nights straight when we first brought him home because it was too uncomfortable to move from the stitches, etc.  How far we have come from being scared that I wasn’t feeding him enough before my milk came in and therefore letting him nurse for 5 straight hours until my nipple actually started bleeding.  How far we have come from waking up every hour to feed him.  I am so proud of myself and so proud of Parker for all of our accomplishments over the last three months and am so excited for everything that is ahead of us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The world is getting scarier...

Yesterday, in our staff meeting a book that my boss and I have recently read came up.  It's titled 'Super Sad True Love Story' by Gary Shteyngart.  It is a great and terrifying modern satire of the famous book '1984' and when I say terrifying, I mean it.  I read this book at the end of last year, and it continues to stay and haunt me throughout my everyday actions.  In this futuristic world, scantily-clad fashionistas have flooded the mainstream, smart phones broadcast every facet of your being from your credit score to your so-called 'f**kability' for everyone to hear or see posted on towers throughout the cities.  No one reads books, they are relatively obsolete and viewed as historical artifacts.  The story follows a man who has not quite learned how to adapt to this fast-paced technology driven world, though he desperately wants to fit in and be admired.  He meets a much younger girl and becomes almost obsessed with her.  It follows their disfunctional relationship amidst growing international debt and terror crises.
I often think about this book when I go on facebook and see the ridiculous amounts of personal information that people choose to share.  I think about this book when I see young kids masterfully navigating their parents iPhones, slowly being molded into another iSlave drone.  (Don't get me wrong, I love Apple and own many of their products, but nonetheless view them as a corporation that has preyed on the minds and wallets of consumers desperate to feel as though they are part of the in-crowd.)  I think about this book when I read about the 'Occupiers' and their efforts to enact change through passive and practical inaction.  As they destroy public property, vandalize locals business and overall bring havoc to their local neighborhoods...I wonder to myself if Mr. Shteyngart has more than just a gift for writing...but a certain clairvoyance.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fatal Distraction

In the midst of so many recent horrible things happening to children, I have become completely paranoid about the safety of mine.  Every night I wake up with a start and retrace my actions before bed, reminding myself that I did in fact check that all of the doors were locked and that everyone was safely tucked in their beds.  I never imagined how heavy the weight of the responsibility of keeping a child safe.  Last night I was telling Michael how overwhelming it can be at times for me.  Then I get in to work and read the newest post on Baby Rabies and am once again flooded with fear for my baby’s well-being.  The article referenced in the post called ‘Fatal Distraction’, a Pulitzer Prize winner, recounts several instances where children have been forgotten in their parents cars.  After reading it, I feel so strongly for these parents.  I can’t even imagine the utter despair and grief that would come with accidentally killing your child.  I look at my own personality – type-A for sure, with a strong need to control my own environment – and I worry that one day I too will forget my baby in the backseat on a hot day.  It gives me the chills.  I am thankful that for now Mike is home with Parker and I don’t have to be the one to take him to day care in the morning and pray that when that day comes, I will never be in their shoes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Mornings...

So after my husband gave me crap about how boring my blog is…with just random sparse updates…so I have decided to try to step it up a notch.  I have recently started reading two other blogs that make me crack up (Baby Rabies and  Some people do a great job of highlighting the hilarious parts of everyday life, and these two blogs definitely make the list.  Hopefully I can at least come close. 

Today at work, the speech writer that everyone despises is finally moving downstairs to another office…thank god.  This means we are moving…ugh.  I will now be the person in the front…as if I have nothing to do and can just sit around and entertain people.  And it means Corinna gets the actual office…which I knew would happen, but I am still completely jealous.  In any case, life at the zoo continues.

On another note, Tristan has decided that she no longer wants to spend weekends with us because she wants to spend more time with her mom.  Which works for us, it’s what we wanted anyway, but I have to say that it definitely hurt a little bit since we have done so much for her over the last year.  I guess this season has come to an end and it’s time to focus on Hailey and Parker. 

Speaking of the little man…yesterday was Parker’s first sick day and boy was it awesome.  I know that sounds really bad, but it was great to just cuddle all day – after I cleaned up the puke in my bed.  He was feeling a lot better by the evening, and by bath time he was splashing around like crazy…back to his usual self.  The girls and Mike were playing in the front yard and I came out with Parker so that Mike could hold him for a bit.  As I walked away he started screaming and regardless of what Mike says, I am convinced he said ‘mama.’  It was awesome.  We think he might be teething…which is not so awesome. 

And now it’s back to Monday morning…

Monday, October 31, 2011

1 week down...

Happy Halloween…but first…
Its been a full week back to work…I survived.  It was a very bittersweet return, as it was really nice to be productive and busy all day, but I sure did miss my boys.  It would really hit me when I would get home and a get to play with Parker how much I truly missed him all day.  Pumping has been successful so far, and I am hoping to keep it up until he hits at least 6 months. 

Last night we carved pumpkins.  It was great, Mike and I were of course ridiculously competitive, but in the end my pumpkin won unanimously.  [pictures to come].  We also got our new golden retriever puppy, which we have lovingly named Rose, because she really was the best Golden Girl.  We picked her up Saturday night and let her get used to the house and Chocolate and Parker.  Then when the girls came over on Sunday for pumpkin carving, we had a scavenger hunt throughout the house set up to find her.  The girls loved the hunt and loved the puppy even more.  When Hailey finally realized it was a puppy, it was so cute.  She ran screaming across the front yard, “it’s a puppy!! It’s a puppy!!”  So that was their first (and very early) Christmas present. 

Tonight we are going over to Dennis and Gloria’s for trick or treating and to meet Catherine’s new boyfriend.  Hailey is going to be a spa princess, Tristan a ballerina and Parker a little baby skeleton.  Super cute…

I will post pictures of everything tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Solvang and my return to work

So last weekend we went to Solvang with my parents and had a great time. It was fun and relaxing to walk around the small city window shopping; we went on a great hike up to a beautiful waterfall and we went to Ostrich Land and fed some huge birds :) it was so much fun and a nice retreat before my return to work.

That being said, today I went back to work for the first time since July. I was really anxious this morning about going back and how things would be and how bad I would miss mike and Parker. But overall things went well. I'm definitely going to be busy.

Here's some pictures from Solvang:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Parkers 1st pictures

So we got parker's first pictures taken on Tuesday at Picture People, and boy do they have a racket going. It's highway robbery if you want the high-res digital images, but of course as it was his first time we bought them. So cute!! He wasn't the most cooperative he's ever been but it wasn't too bad. Here's a few of the best ones and a link to them all:

Saturday, October 1, 2011


So I have started working out again, P90X, and have actually stuck with it so far (5 days, which may not seem like much, but it's better than nothing). My body is so sore but overall I feel really good. I am excited to get fit and healthy again.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back again

So once again I am going to try out this whole blogging thing. It's been over a year since I really put any effort into it, and even then I really didn't try that hard.

So a quick snapshot of the last year:
• we got pregnant and Parker James Cates was born on August 23, 2011 at 12:19am weighing 7lbs 10ozs and measuring 19.5in long.
• when once we had five dogs (dozer, tank, chocolate, buddy and maddy) we are now down to one (chocolate) and life is all the more relaxing for it
• the girls are now attending public school and in GATE classes
• we now have Tristan 50% time
• Mike has started a pool business and will no longer be with Pacific Monarch come mid October; I am still at UCR
• I went back to (almost) black

That pretty much sums up the major points of the last year. The last month (yes Parker turned 1 month yesterday) has been a very exciting adventure with Baby Cates. I can't believe how time flies. He is doing very well; he sleeps like a pro, eats like a hippo and smiles like an angel. What more could a mommy ask for?

The girls are adjusting well to their new school. Hailey is back on meds (we had some issues before, but things are back to normal now); the specialist switched her from vyvance to aderol and she has made the transition without any problems. It has been amazing and saddening to see the differences between riverside Christian day school and her public school: rcds has obviously not updated their curriculum to reflect California state standards in at least 20 years.

We have been working to remodel the back room and trying to get a renter - preferably a student that goes to RCC - to have a little extra income. We will see how that goes.

So here's a few pictures

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Sex Killed Society

so the last night I was having a conversation with Mike about a sad epiphany I had the other day and he suggested that I start writing some of my ideas down in a blog so that I can regain that intellectual stimulation I feel I've lost since being out of school. so here's to the first of many (hopefully)...

How Sex Killed Society

So we were listening to oldies on the way home from San Diego and I realized something that the so-called feminist in me shuttered to think. I realized that the sexual revolution in the '60's is the cause of the sad state of our society with regards to popular culture. I look around me at the icons young girls have to look up to like Kesha and the like, and I just mourn our demise. In listening to oldies, I noticed a common theme from male and female artists alike: love and romance. This theme lies in stark contrast to the over-arching theme of todays music which seems to revolve around getting drunk and being slutty. The question that came to me in recognizing this contrast is: what happened socially that shifted the popular culture paradigm from expounding the virtues of being classy and demure and singing the wonders of puppy love and first kisses to a paradigm that is over-run with tales of drunken debauchery and sleazy late night encounters? The answer: the sexual revolution. Now don't get me wrong, as a woman I believe that we should be able to make our own choices and should not be cloistered to prevent sexual freedom. When I stop agreeing is when that sexual freedom transforms into an excuse for a lack of personal accountability, and teaches the youth that the only way to have fun is to go out get drunk and sleep with a random stranger. Now the ideals behind the sexual revolution were valid: a woman should be able to have sex like a man, a woman should be free to express herself how she pleases and a woman should be able to do these things free from societal judgement. But the reality of the situation is that the sexual revolution has led to many women turning to sex to fill the self-esteem void and this, in turn, gives society permission to treat women as objects. ...more to come


wow, it has been forever since I have posted anything here. Let's see...what has happened since the reception. Well, I guess the biggest news came in December when we found out we are having a baby. We went to San Diego for our birthdays and saw the Chargers beat Kansas City and went to the zoo. In February we found out that our baby is a boy...YAY!!! and we picked a name: Parker James Cates. This past weekend we celebrated our 1 year anniversary (geez I can't believe how quickly time passes). We went to San Diego again. We went to a mystery dinner theater (Mystery Cafe) and it was so funny, we had a great time. We also went to the Wild Animal Park, and were less than impressed, there's not much to do unless you have lots of extra money. Mostly though, we just relaxed in the hotel room and watched Community and Glee. It was amazingly relaxing. And that pretty much brings us up to speed on life events.